I’ve been meaning to kick off this series for a while. Way back in October of 2012 I was in Indianapolis for a work event and met up with my blend Kate. After we got dinner, cupcakes, and all that jazz, I mentioned that I just got back from seeing The Smashing Pumpkins, to which she replied, “Who?”
“Wait, what? You don’t know The Smashing Pumpkins? Where have you been all these years?!” I exclaimed, as I did the math and realized at the height of my fandom I was 13, and she was something like 5 years old.
But the situation sparked the idea for a series on “bands you should know” for those who aren’t into music, and those who may have missed out on some pretty classic bands.
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Similarly, my dad’s friend from high school has been doing this exact thing to me since I was a little kid — imposing “bands I should know” on me in the form of cassettes, CDs, and now vinyl (which seems backwards chronologically …). He’s been digging through his old collection and giving me things that I need to have, like the album, Transformer by Lou Reed.
Thus, I’m kicking off the “bands you should know” series with “bands I should know”. I even molested my own graphic in the style of my friend Sarah just for effect.
Why should I have known about Lou Reed? Well, he greatly influenced one of my favorite musicians (well, several of them if you want to get technical), David Bowie. And he was friends with Andy Warhol. His early music was glam and pre-punk (if that’s a genre. if not, i’m coining that term). And he wore eye makeup and played a Les Paul guitar. So basically he fits the bill for everything I love in musicians.
Transformer specifically is important because it was his first acclaimed album away from The Velvet Underground, and it was produced by Bowie and Mic Ronson, who’s best known for his work with Bowie, but has worked with some other bands I enjoy, Mott the Hoople and Morrissey. Not only is “Walk on the Wild Side” on Transformer, but “Perfect Day” is as well. I actually knew “Perfect Day” from Metric, and not from Lou Reed.
So now both you AND I know about Lou Reed.
What musical artists are essential for everybody to know?
If you’d like to write a guest post, I’d love to hear from you. Comment here and I’ll get in touch.